The EUR 250,000 Bocklet Dakar U685
Getting away from it all in Germany, where there are 8000 camping grounds and an equally massive motorhome industry, you need to go just a bit further to escape the madding crowd. Bocklet caters to the adventure touring market by building “go anywhere” motorhomes for those who do not wish to travel the road well traveled, and the company's latest is the Unimog-based EUR 250,000 (USD 315,000) Dakar U685. Capable of carrying 330 liters of fuel and 300 liters of fresh water, the Dakar can take you a long way off the beaten track yet seemingly wanting for little. Creature comforts include diesel-powered heating and air conditioning, a hot water service, shower, toilet and kitchen, 110-liter refrigerator, 220 Ah battery, 260 watt solar panel, automatic battery charger, 1.2 kW inverter, satellite TV and a king sized bed. Anything else you need, just ask.
In the last quarter century, Koblenz-based Michael Bocklet's Bocklet Automotive GmbH has produced over 500 customized and highly ruggedized 4WD motorhomes which have not surprisingly, found their way to all corners of the globe.
The Dakar U685 is based on a U4000 Unimog truck chassis and powered by a 218 bhp 4.3 liter diesel engine. Years of refining the breed have produced a beast that can almost go anywhere. Note the almost complete lack of overhangs and beveled rear, designed so that you'll never hang the vehicle on something while traversing gullies.
Single tires are used to ensure the maximum traction in off-road conditions plus and low rolling resistance, and the vehicle has an in-cabin tire pressure control system so you can get every bit of traction available. If all else fails, that's a 7-ton anchor winch on the front bumper, though in practice, most winches on Bocklet's creations find far more application getting others off the hook.
About the Author
Mike grew up thinking he would become a mathematician, accidentally started motorcycle racing, got a job writing road tests for a motorcycle magazine while at university, and became a writer. As a travelling photojournalist during his early career, his work was published in a dozen languages across 20+ countries. He went on to edit or manage over 50 print publications, with target audiences ranging from pensioners to plumbers, many different sports, many car and motorcycle magazines, with many more in the fields of communication - narrow subject magazines on topics such as advertising, marketing, visual communications, design, presentation and direct marketing. Then came the internet and Mike managed internet projects for Australia's largest multimedia company, Telstra.com.au (Australia's largest Telco), Seek.com.au (Australia's largest employment site), top100.com.au, hitwise.com, and a dozen other internet start-ups before founding Gizmag in 2002. Now he writes and thinks.
All articles by Mike Hanlon
I wonder if Clarkson would like this caravan?
For that money, I\'d buy a Winnebago short wheelbase varient, convert it to 4WD and get 24/7 roadside service, just in case, for the tough bits.
But it\'s SO tiny! I don\'t think I could spend more than 8 hours in that sardine can!
Time for the derision The Skud and Ed.
Take your short wheelbase variant Winnebago to Bolivia, go off-road adventuring and see how far you get with your 24/7 roadside service.
Ed, why would you spend 8 hours in any car? This is not a motor home you live in at the trailer park. You would take it out to the difficult spots, if you want to relax indoors with every creature comfort you spend your EUR250,000 on a beach house.
This thing looks like it would be great fun to go exploring in while still being able to get a good night\'s sleep and prepare a decent meal.
I totally agree Scion, your comments are correct and to the point,,, Winnebago SWB !!! Sardine can ??? Derrrr, \" what\'s a Unimog ? \"
OK,the Unimog is a German AWD truck(Mercedes),commonly used for military purposes.
Why would you buy one of these,well you\'d be a soft adventure explorer in places like outback Australia,Africa Siberia and South America etc. In fact,there has been one on a slightly older Unimog setup almost exactly the same as these uber expensive toys within walking distance to me for over 6 years. I wonder if it in fact it inspired them,it looks like a one off build with some rough fibre glass on the rear foldout section.
But of course,real men do their adventure exploring on motorcycles and sidecars.
\"and get 24/7 roadside service, just in case\"??? HAhAAHaHhahhHAHHAHAAaaaaa! don\'t make me laugh! This thing is designed for when the roads end! Ring ring....hello? Can you come rescue me? Where am I? Uhhhhhhhhhhhh, I think I\'m at the corner of........oh wait, there IS no \"corner of\". I\'m sitting beside that great big rock, you know, the big one right next to the river. What river? Hell, I don\'t know! It ought to be a law that they put signs on rivers saying what they are!
Will, the tink
To Will the ?? - 24/7 ... What else are GPS and eperbs made for? I said swb varient because I don\'t need a behomath, but that Unimog has no more space than a decent caravan.
To Scion - If I want to go to Bolivia, I will hire something there, not waste money etc. on taking my Winnebago or Unimog all the way over there, no matter what country (I relish my life in Ozzie land) I start from.
To Graeme (Gragraposker),
What\'s a sidecar...?
Its a cocktail - he\'s that kind of guy : )
Over 160,000 people receive our email newsletter
See the stories that matter in your inbox every morning